Definition of branle in English:



  • A 16th-century court dance of French origin.

    • ‘It supplies descriptions of numerous dances, plus musical notation, with the steps and positions clearly defined, and 24 versions of the branle.’
    • ‘The branle is danced in a group in the form of a circle or chain, and it consists of simple steps to the right or left.’
    • ‘Come and learn many of the dances he describes, from branles to pavans to galliards.’
    • ‘During the latter half of the century, however, a different type emerged at the French court: a social couple dance, it seems to have been unrelated to the branle.’
    • ‘This article started out as a discussion on the formation used in branle des chevaux, or Horses.’
    • ‘The music for the branle was often provided by the singing of the dancers.’
    • ‘In some places, he says, the dancers make a basse dance reprise or branle in place of the double right.’
    • ‘In 1662, Pepys described in detail a ball given by King Charles II which began with the dancing of a branle.’
    • ‘Arbeau's third type of branle required the performer to mime gestures or to add facial expressions to the steps.’


Late 16th century: from French, from branler ‘shake’.